The Ricoh Women’s British Open is the ultimate test of golf requiring the complete “performance” package. The 2018 Event is starting at Royal Lytham & St Annes tomorrow which will produce a very worthy Champion.
I am coaching this year in the Golf Zone which offers spectators a chance to receive a free 15 minute lesson. This provides me with a chance to help a variety of golfers providing them with a memorable day on this very special links course. There are numerous activities within the zone designed to suit any level of player new to the game or the more experienced golfer.
This golf course is famed by the beautifully crafted bunkers, however this is to the extent of the praise as I will be looking for the ultimate crowned Champion come Sunday evening to have hit a very high percentage of fairways to finish at the top of the leader board.
The depth and severity of the vertical stepped bunker face penalizes an errant or mis calculated yardage from the fairway. In some cases the acceptance of a bogey is a bonus as a shot played sideways is very often the only option.
The typical firm hard running fairways in particular due to unprecedented warm weather brings the undulating run off from the greens often steering the ball into the green side pot bunkers or close to the edge of the wispy rough. This will make for a really stern test if the wind picks up during the week calling for ball flight control and pin point accuracy approach shots.
A variety of short game shots calling for creativity will be used which was in evidence today during the players practice schedule. The use of the “wood” from the edge of the green is seen more often helping with both with the strike from tight lies with controllable loft and roll. However, when you see top class players use a creative shot trust me they have practiced it.
As mentioned the depth of the bunkers may well call for excellent coordination skills as this player demonstrates they will have geared their game towards total preparation covering all possible eventualities. As the saying goes “Expect the unexpected” she played this shot with consummate ease so will be totally unfazed if presented with a situation such as this.
It has been a wonderful few days at Royal Lytham & St Annes outside the ropes but also coaching in the Golf Zone with numerous juniors and adults new to the game who I know will remember their first golf experience at a world class venue.